Christine McVie will be heading to the recording studio with Fleetwood Mac for the first time since 2003 (when she contributed vocals for Say You Will’s “Bleed to Love Her” and “Steal Your Heart Away”), according to Mick Fleetwood via the Maui News. McVie, who officially rejoined the band earlier this month, will start recording with the band in March. In December, McVie told the Daily Mail that she had already sent new songs to Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham for tweaking. The band will presumably record a new album and support it with a tour later this year.
Christine McVie will perform ‘Don’t Stop” with Fleetwood Mac at a show in London this September, according to Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood Mac. The band hasn’t indicated which London show McVie will perform at or if she will perform at any of the other London shows, but her involvement is expected to be limited.
McVie has repeatedly stated that she has no interest in touring with Fleetwood Mac, a position that she has staunchly maintained since 1998 when she retired from the band. But she has performed the occasional, one-off gig. As recent as this past February, McVie played keyboards with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Steven Tyler and Rick Vito at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
McVie’s last studio involvement with Fleetwood Mac was on 2003’s Say You Will, on which she provided backup vocals for “Bleed to Love Her” and “Steal Your Heart Away.”
The European leg of the tour begins on September 20 in Dublin, Ireland. Here are all of the European tour dates:
September 20, 2013
September 21, 2013
September 24, 2013
September 25, 2013
September 27, 2013
September 29, 2013
October 1, 2013
October 3, 2013
October 6, 2013
October 7, 2013
October 9, 2013
October 11, 2013
October 13, 2013
October 14, 2013
October 16, 2013
October 18, 2013
October 20, 2013
October 23, 2013
October 26, 2013
London, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Manchester, United Kingdom
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Christine McVie may be the most underrated of the five members of Fleetwood Mac’s “classic” lineup. She’s been with the band since the days with Peter Green, wrote songs like “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun”, and “Say You Love Me,” and you probably didn’t know that she hasn’t been in the band proper since 1998. Since then, she has repeatedly refused to perform live with the band (despite performing on two songs on their last album, Say You Will). And Mick Fleetwood has given up on asking her to rejoin, but apparently, Christine has softened her stance.
In September, the band will perform three gigs at London’s O2 Arena, and Christine has said that she would be willing to do a duet at one of those concerts. Quoth Christine McVie: “If they wanted me to, I might pop back on stage when they’re in London just to do a little duet or something like that.”
Also, quoth Mick Fleetwood: “A lot of bands, including us, never know when the audience is going to finally disappear,” he said. “But we have a whole influx of new fans, young people who’ve been brought up on us by their parents or picked us up on the internet. There’ll be people on this tour in their seventies and others seeing us for the first time, and that’s really cool.”
And because I have two other Fleetwood Mac articles in my queue, one dating back all the way from February, and this article is short, I may as well cover those two here.
Earlier in the year, Mick Fleetwood spoke about the interpersonal dynamics of the group: “The biggest misconception to me is that these people really don’t like each other. That’s the worst rumour about Rumours. There’s bands out there, usually a bunch of guys, who don’t give a — about each other. They just come to an arrangement. We can’t do that. We’re all ex-lovers, so we don’t have that corporate, guy thing where it’s just ‘get the job done’. I think it bodes in our favour that, in a funny, shaky way, there is some integrity. We do actually love each other, for real. Unfortunately. ‘Cause it’s tough.”
And on the subject of ex-lovers in the group, Lindsey Buckingham had this to say about his relationship with Stevie Nicks: throughout their songs, there’s a “Subtext of love” between the two of them. Though they broke up while making Rumours, they still maintain a professional relationship.
Quoth Buckingham: “There’s a subtext of love between us, and it would be hard to deny that much of what we’ve accomplished had something to do with trying to prove something to each other. Maybe that’s fucked up but this is someone I’ve known since I was 16, and I think on some weird level we’re still trying to work some things out. There will never be romance there, but there are other kinds of love to be had.”
When asked how he can work with an ex-girlfriend, he said: “You get used to it. And for me, getting married and having children was a positive outcome. I wonder sometimes how Stevie feels about the choices she made, because she doesn’t really have a relationship — she has her career. But there are a few chapters to be written in the Stevie-Lindsey legacy.”
Stevie Nicks replied that, while it was difficult at first, the duo recognised their priorities: “We never, ever, with everything that happened to us, ever, let love affairs break Fleetwood Mac up.” Well, at least they worked out their problems better than Richard and Linda Thompson did. Stay tuned for another Gallagher Brothers article in the near future.
By Will Hodgkinson The Times (UK)
Thursday, February 7 2013
The Mac are back, with live shows, songs and a re-release. Will Hodgkinson meets Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie
It is 36 years since Rumours, the soft-rock masterpiece by Fleetwood Mac, became the soundtrack to separation. Songs such as Go Your Own Way, The Chain and You Make Loving Fun articulated the new rules of relationships for the baby boom generation, capturing the reality of affairs, tensions, betrayals and break-ups and selling more than 40 million copies in the process. For much of the 1980s, arguing over who got the copy of Rumours was as much a part of divorce as lawyer’s fees and pretending to like each other in front of the kids.
Rumours hit a nerve because it came from a place of truth. Fleetwood Mac’s keyboardist Christine McVie was divorcing its bassist John McVie. The singer Stevie Nicks was splitting with her childhood sweetheart, the band’s guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Stuck somewhere in the middle was the drummer Mick Fleetwood, who was recently divorced from his wife. Everyone dealt with the situation in the only way rock stars in the 1970s knew how: by taking huge amounts of cocaine.
It should have ended there, but as Fleetwood says, “Rumours is the thing that would not go away.” While the album has just gone back into the Top Three, four of the band members are putting aside the pain of the past and, in one of the biggest break up and make up stories of all time, getting ready to go out on the road again for a world tour. Only Christine McVie, who left the band in 1998, is staying away. She’s been leading a reclusive, distinctly non-rock’n’roll life in a Kent farmhouse ever since, having no involvement with Fleetwood Mac and never giving interviews — until now.
“We were very hedonistic,” says McVie, recalling the band’s reputation for excess in the fond manner of someone remembering high jinks at school. “But it was always fun because we never got into heroin or anything like that. If you got too high you had a drink, and if you got too drunk you had another line of coke. We did that every night until three or four in the morning. It was different back then. Once you made it you were completely nurtured in this little world.”
Why did she leave the band? “After I took my 95,000th flight something snapped. I became terrified of flying and I couldn’t face living out of a suitcase any more.”
So it comes as a further surprise to hear that, two days after our interview, she’s flying to Fleetwood’s house in Maui, Hawaii, before traveling to Los Angeles to meet the rest of the band as they rehearse for a world tour.
“No, no, no,” says Mick Fleetwood, the band’s genial, pony-tailed giant of a drummer, when I ask him if McVie will actually return to complete Rumour’s two-warring-couples dynamic that, in Buckingham’s words, “brought out the voyeur in everyone.” “We love her, we miss her, but no. She’s left. Still, she’s a huge part of our story and I certainly hope that when we tour in September and October she makes one little excursion to a gig.”
The fact that Rumours continues to fascinate is not simply down to the quality of the music, although the clean-cut sonic perfection and lyrical seduction of songs such as The Chain and Don’t Stop is too tasty to resist. It’s also because this is a story yet to be completed. And what a story it is.
The Fleetwood Mac of Rumours began in 1974, when, having been hugely successful figures in the late Sixties British blues boom, the band were in trouble. Founder Peter Green, briefly mooted as the greatest guitarist of his generation, developed schizophrenia and left in 1970 after saying he wanted to give all the band’s money to charity. The following year the Mac’s second guitarist Jeremy Spencer popped out before a gig in Los Angeles to buy a magazine and never came back. His band members later discovered he had joined the Children Of God cult. There was even a fake Fleetwood Mac out on the road, put together by the band’s manager. Fleetwood suggested to the McVies that they take a drastic step to cure their ills: move to California.
“We had been successful and now we weren’t,” Fleetwood says. “Nothing was happening. But Peter Green had an incredibly generous principle, which was that you could bring new people into the band and allow them to be themselves rather than tell them what to do. That saved Fleetwood Mac.”
Fleetwood was in the Laurel Canyon Country Store in the Hollywood Hills, doing his weekly shopping, when he bumped into an LA scenester he vaguely knew. “This guy had a job hustling people to work in a studio called Sound City, so I put the groceries in the back of my beat-up old Cadillac and drove down there with him. The producer Keith Olsen played me two tracks from an album he had recorded by a duo called Buckingham Nicks, just to demonstrate the [studio’s recording quality]. Next day I called Keith and said: ‘You know that tape you played?’ ”
Buckingham was a broodingly handsome, intensely creative guitarist and songwriter from Palo Alto, California. Nicks, his girlfriend since high school, was a strikingly beautiful singer with a gypsy glamour and a drawled, girlish vocal style. Together they captured a very Californian take on the hippy dream: narcissistic, slightly cosmic, but sophisticated. The album, Buckingham Nicks, bombed, making Fleetwood’s offer of joining Fleetwood Mac at a wage of £300 a week particularly appealing for Nicks, who was supporting the couple by working as a waitress and cleaner.
“Lindsey didn’t actually want to join,” Fleetwood says. “He was on his own creative quest with Buckingham Nicks, he’s never been commercially minded, and while Stevie has always been a great band member Lindsey struggles with it. She convinced him that they should dump what they were doing and put all their ideas into Fleetwood Mac, that it was a way to make a bit of money, and if they didn’t like it they could always leave. I didn’t know that at the time.”
“Mick was wise,” Christine McVie says. “He told me that if I didn’t like Stevie we wouldn’t get them in the band because he knew that having two women that didn’t get along would be a nightmare. We all met at Mick’s flat, and Stevie and I were so completely different from each other that we got along fine. I was intimidated by the quality of the songs on Buckingham Nicks. It made me get my skates on.”
What followed was not just huge success, but the beginning of the most compelling soap opera in the history of pop. The new line-up had a major hit with Fleetwood Mac in 1975, but by the following year, when Fleetwood Mac went into the studio to record what would become Rumours, the couples in the band were in trouble. Nicks addressed her situation in the reflective, affectionate Dreams, which suggests that Buckingham will come back to her when loneliness hits. Buckingham responded with the dismissive Go Your Own Way, the inference being that Nicks should suit action to the title.
“The atmosphere in the studio was … charged,” says Fleetwood, an understatement that speaks volumes. “Here were people who loved each other but couldn’t be together, and it translated into a mutant form of fear and loathing. It was awkward, because you don’t normally spend time with someone at the beginning of a break-up. Recording the album was like divorced parents trying to do the right thing for their children, and our child was Fleetwood Mac. We put in a heroic effort to keep it together.”
“All of these great songs were coming out of a very trying period and none of us wanted to ruin that,” adds Christine McVie, who wrote You Make Loving Fun, Songbird and Don’t Stop at the height of the turmoil. “John and I would create an icy silence that everyone was aware of, Stevie and Lindsey would be screaming at each other on the other side of the room. Even when the nightmarish hell of the two couples was at its absolute worst we knew we were capturing what we were all thinking about. It’s why the truth of the emotions on Rumours jumps out of the grooves.”
Then there was the cocaine. “I didn’t even know what cocaine was until I went to Los Angeles,” says Fleetwood who, according to other band members, made up for lost time with astonishing enthusiasm. “Yes, we were wild and crazy, but we worked incredibly hard, which is always the case with the bands that have survived. We were never too stoned to play.”
Fleetwood Mac survived in spite of all the things — success, excess, money, broken romances, affairs — usually guaranteed to pull a band apart. Fleetwood puts it down to the fact that they made their biggest album without a manager. “A manager would have taken one look at Stevie and said: ‘What are you doing with these guys?’ You’re the star.”
Now the band has recorded eight new Buckingham songs — there are suggestions of an album release for 2014 — and are gearing up for their world tour. This is in spite of Buckingham still being reticent about giving up his solo career for the band, almost 40 years after Nicks first convinced him to do it. “When I spoke to Lindsey about getting the band together last year he said: ‘Don’t give me that Mick push, that guilt thing you do,’ ” Fleetwood says. “Stevie was off on her never-ending solo tour and I was coming to terms with the fact that it might be time to let go. Then Lindsey called up. Now concerts are selling out, people are excited and something is happening. We’d better get our shit together.”
It doesn’t take a relationships expert to work out that some issues remain unresolved. In 2009 Nicks told an interviewer from MTV “that electric crazy attraction between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks never dies, never will die, never will go away”. Whether Buckingham, now married with three children, agrees with her is debatable, but the emotional high point of a Fleetwood Mac concert is when Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham walk to the front of the stage with hands clasped together. So what if they disappear into separate limousines afterwards? The drama and intrigue behind those perfectly formed songs of love and heartbreak on Rumours is far from over. Perhaps it never will be.
Fleetwood Mac play Dublin, London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow in September and October. Presale tickets for the gig at the O2 Arena, London, go on sale today through ticketmaster.co.uk
By Jacqui Swift The Sun (UK)
Friday, February 1, 2013
IT was one of the top-selling albums of the Seventies which turned Fleetwood Mac into the biggest superstars in the world.
But with all the broken hearts, tempestuous affairs and excessive drink and drugs, the making of 1977’s Rumours came at a price.
Chris is getting on a plane and flying to Hawaii with me. I’m going to hold her hand all the way, even if I have to handcuff it.
This week, almost 36 years after the seminal record hit shelves, an expanded and deluxe version of the album is released including original B-side “Silver Springs,” unreleased live recordings, outtakes, and documentary The Rosebud Film.
Rumours was huge, selling more than 40 million copies, and made the entangled lives of Brits Mick Fleetwood, husband and wife John and Christine McVie and US couple Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, one of rock ’n’ roll’s legendary stories.
Songs such as “Don’t Stop,” “Go Your Own Way,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “The Chain” and “Dreams” are as popular as ever today. With a world tour opening in the US in April and a UK tour planned for September, Fleetwood Mac are winning over a new generation of fans as well as their hardcore devotees.
When we meet in a west London hotel, 6-ft-5-in Fleetwood says: “There are young people who are so happy this tour is happening.”
Now 65, the drummer has a healthy tan after years of living in Hawaii but has retained his English accent.
He says: “It’s a new generation that have been turned on to our music. Rumours is our most famous album but it leads to all the others. It’s like someone finding a Neil Young album and going, ‘What? There’s more?’
“Sonically it’s a very clean, un-gizmoed record which has been a huge blessing. We didn’t call in a slick, Hollywood producer and there were none of the sound effects you hear in music today.
“We made a beautifully recorded album that worked. It’s all about the music, which I don’t think dates and still speaks for itself.”
The multi-platinum album, which debuted at No. 1 across the world and spent 31 weeks topping the US charts, looks set to re-enter the UK Top Ten on Sunday.
It’s already spent a total of 493 weeks on the Official Albums Chart to date and, for the band, it represents them at their most accusatory and confessional.
As he tugs away at his white beard, Fleetwood says: “As a band who were experiencing a breakdown of personal relationships, the music was the only way we could talk.”
Buckingham’s “Second Hand News,” “Never Going Back Again,” and “Go Your Own Way” were about the guitarist’s troubled relationship with longtime girlfriend, singer-songwriter Nicks.
Her song “Dreams” has the line: “You say you want your freedom. Well who am I to keep you down?” “You Make Loving Fun,” written by keyboardist Christine McVie after she’d started an affair with lighting director Curry Grant, and “Don’t Stop” had personal messages to bassist husband John, which were hard to bear.
Fleetwood reveals: “We communicated through music — which hurt.
“Imagine hearing what was going on with your partner through a song? As writers, they were saying they were angry and hurt through music which, yes, were pop songs, but had a certain darkness.
“Fleetwood Mac were really accessible musically, but lyrically and emotionally, we weren’t so easy. And it was our music that helped us survive. But all of us were in pieces personally. I was the only one spared as I didn’t have to work with my wife. Jenny and I had broken up and she was involved with someone that I knew really well. It was hard, but I knew why.”
Fleetwood then started a two-year affair with Nicks.
He says: “I had pretty much left Jenny anyhow and I was licking my wounds. It was a mess and there we were in the studio.”
In an earlier chat with Nicks, the singer told SFTW: “No one was willing to give up Fleetwood Mac — it just wasn’t an option.
“Whatever happened between me and Lindsey or the others, the power of the band and the music meant more.”
Fleetwood adds: “It wasn’t heroics, and it wasn’t easy but as Lindsey recently said to me, ‘We were brave — emotionally brave’.
“God, there are worse things that can happen to people, but when couples break up they don’t then immediately spend huge amounts of time with each other.
“It would’ve been easier for us all to run away than make Rumours.”
It wasn’t just in their personal lives that they were suffering. Drugs, especially cocaine, were everywhere in the studio — a bag always stashed under the mixing desk.
Fleetwood confesses: “Stevie and I were the worst offenders. We took it to the ‘nth’ degree.
“We were the last to get off the horse and although we try to put it in good humour, we were very lucky to get through all of that.”
Nicks’ cocaine addiction resulted in a hole in her nose.
She reveals: “A plastic surgeon looked at my nose and told me it would collapse if I carried on.
“My vanity made me stop. I didn’t want to be a dead drug addict — least of all one with a collapsed nose.
“I called Betty Ford (Clinic) straight away but then I was given the tranquiliser Klonopin to keep off the coke. That was worse — I couldn’t move or get up. I was out of it for eight years.”
It was all a long way from the band’s beginnings in the Sixties British blues boom.
Fleetwood Mac started out in 1967 under the helm of legendary guitarist Peter Green.
But when he quit in 1970 and success dried up, the band drafted in first Christine then later the American duo Buckingham and Nicks to give the band a new direction — and the hits just kept coming.
Since Fleetwood Mac last toured in 2009, there has been talk of a new album.
The four band members — Christine McVie quit in 1998 after her fear of flying stopped her travelling — have been in the studio but Nicks’ solo career has delayed work. Fleetwood says: “I did think at one point that we may never tour again. And for once I was public about how I saw it. I am the worrier of the band and need Stevie and Lindsey back or we can’t go on.
“Lindsey had quit quit the band just before the Tango In The Night world tour in 1987 but we got him back in 1992 thankfully. But Fleetwood Mac now could never continue without Stevie especially.
“The truth is she is the only member that can go out and still command a whole audience’s attention span — in her own right in her solo work AND as a member of Fleetwood Mac.
“Anyway, I aired my views and worries and I’m sure it freaked Stevie out because immediately she was asked by everyone if the band would ever tour again. And, of course, she wanted back in.
“Then me, Lindsey and John went into the studio six months ago, because we just wanted to start something. Stevie had been busy with her solo album and tour and she had just lost her mum. So we just put the idea of a new record on the back burner.
“But she’s been in the studio with Lindsey and sung on two or three of his songs and they had a fantastic time. There’s about seven songs in total.
“We’re hoping we can put some new songs out as an EP around the time of the tour. Stevie and Lindsey are singing together more, as it worked so well on stage when we toured. Stevie and Lindsey are in a good place today, which is cool.
“And on the tour we’re intending to play a couple of new songs as well as the ones we have to play or we’d be shot. But we might reapproach some songs in a totally different way.
“I know John is keen for us to play “Crystal” (from the cult 1973 Buckingham Nicks album) as that’s the song I heard when I invited Stevie and Lindsey into the band.
“We might even let the audience ‘pick a song’ via some technology on the night and do a mishmash of the songs chosen.”
The big news for devoted Fleetwood Mac fans is that the band are reuniting with Christine McVie.
Fleetwood reveals: “I spoke to her just before I walked through that door to speak to you for this interview.
“I’m seeing Chris here in London before I leave and even though she loathes flying and she’s never been back to the United States since the day she left, she is getting on a plane and flying to Hawaii with me. I’m going to hold her hand all the way — even if I have to handcuff it.
“We miss her and love her, and I hope I’m a part in persuading her to return.
“She’s going to come and stay for three weeks in Maui — I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it. John’s going to come over from Honolulu to see her.
“And then she’s going to LA to see Stevie, who misses her terribly and is really excited to see her.
“But it’ll be her decision. But we’d make her very welcome if she wanted to creep on that stage again.
“Fleetwood Mac are back and it’s going to be a great tour. It’s only right that Christine joins us too.”